Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all!

I hope you have a fun, safe New Year's Eve celebration, and a wonderful 2010!




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Monday, December 28, 2009

Fat Fish in Sembawang

I recently went to Fat Fish Steamboat Restaurant in Sembawang with some friends. The food was not bad, and the atmosphere was lots of fun. The service was good, both polite and prompt.

We ordered a steamboat set, which was good. The mango salad, though, was my favorite, and seemed to be the favorite of everyone in our party, along with the pandan chicken.

Fat Fish is up on top of a hill on Old Nelson Road. When I was there, they said they'd only been open for 3 months. It was not crowded, but also not empty. The location is a bit off the main road, but it is not hard to get to (right across from Sembawang MRT Station, though a bit of a walk up the hill). It's not bad for a night out, and the grounds look like someplace I wouldn't mind snooping around more, though we didn't do any exploring that day.




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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy a good holiday with your friends and family.




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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Back to Kukup

A few years ago, we took a group of young people from our church to Kukup, Malaysia, for a short retreat. We had so much fun at the kelong that we are going again, and this time bringing the whole church along. In fact, we'll have an additional 10 friends from the Philippines there to join us this time around.

We are looking forward to a fun retreat, with good food, good friends, and a nice spot to relax and enjoy each other's company. If it is as good as our previous stay in Kukup, I am sure we are all going to come home very happy, and with lots of fun stories to share.




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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thoughts

It's funny how a place can get into the mind, and really begin to affect how we think about things. I was discussing with a friend a month or so ago the importance of place in our thinking, and how our environment can shape us so completely, without us even realizing it. Since I started splitting my time each year between two homes, this has become even more apparent to me.

This year, I was fortunate enough to be engaged to write a travel guide on the city of Suzhou. I've been there a number of times over the years, but have taken it mostly as a place to visit, enjoy, and then move on. It has long ranked as one of my favorite spots to visit, full of lots of beautiful places to see, but not a lot more than that.

As I've been researching, thinking, planning for the guide, and just generally having Suzhou on the mind, I've found it really getting hold of everything that goes through my mind. I want to know more and more about Chinese gardens. I want to understand the depth of thinking that goes into gardening and appreciating those gardens. It is really a captivating subject to consider.

And the nice thing is, I've found that it gives me something of a quiet space inside my head. The environment of Suzhou got into my mind when I made recent visits there in order to research for the book, and somehow that quiet, thoughtful environment has remained inside as a place I can sort of retreat into when I need it. (Which is often.)

I suppose that this is what I love most about travel. The change of environment can allow for a change of thinking, if you pay attention. It can push you out of the same old train of thought that accompanies the daily routine, and give you a new mode of thinking. It is amazing how that works.




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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Poetically Challenged

My blog poetically challenged has been offline for a while due to some difficulties I had accessing the site for a while. I think the issues are now resolved, and I will be updating it regularly again.

The blog focuses on publication opportunities for poets. I hope you'll find something useful there.




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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kitagawa Japanese Restaurant

A few weeks ago, I made my first trip to Kitagawa Japanese Restaurant inside the Orchid Country Club in Singapore. My friends and I had a great time, enjoying good food, a nice atmosphere, and good company.

Here's a look at a couple of the dishes that we indulged in that night.

First, the dragon roll, which was a favorite of everyone at the table






Then there was the octopus, which had a nice kick, with its generous portion of wasabi



I didn't get a picture of the beef, as it didn't look like anything special, but it was everyone's favorite. It was so tender it seemed to melt in the mouth. Some of the best beef I've ever had.

Overall, we had a great time. The service was a little slow, but the staff was polite and tried to make up for the slow service by being a little extra nice to us.

If you're looking for a nice spot for good food, Kitagawa is definitely worth a visit.

Oh, and... Kitagawa is one of the finds I picked up at Hungry Go Where.





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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Good deals for a limited time at Sembawang Shopping Centre

There's a lot of good deals this week at Sembawang Shopping Centre.

We went last weekend for a nice hot Chinese dinner at Prosperous Kitchen (Level 2), where several dishes were on offer for $1 each! We got prawns and fish, each for just $1, and both were very good.

Today, I had lunch with my 2 oldest godchildren (ages 7 and 10) and their mom. Once again, there was a $1 offer — all sushi (except red plates) from Hei Sushi's conveyor belt is just $1 per plate. Red plates are 2-for-1, up to three free. And if you don't believe me when I say it's good, just look at how much those two ate!!!

There are lots of other offers at Sembawang Shopping Centre. Many of the shopping centre's restaurants have something on offer right now, most with something for just $1. And it's good stuff!

It's only for this week, I think, but it is certainly worth the visit.




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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Wedding Muso

I just came across an interesting post (posted about a year ago) of an interesting sight in Shaoxing, China. There are some fun pictures there.

Shaoxing is in Zhejiang Province, situated between Ningbo and Hangzhou. I've never been, but it isn't that far from Shanghai, and this post makes me wonder if it might not be worth the visit, just to see how different it might be from big, bustling Shanghai.




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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Good Resource for Serious Cyclists

I stumbled across a really useful site recently, with loads of bicycle maintenance and riding tips. It's written by someone who obviously knows what he's doing, and with tons of experience on long trips.

Take a few minutes to pop by, if you are a serious cyclist or are interested in doing some long trips. Even if you only do long trips infrequently, the tips there are useful.




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